Locus Focus

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with local, regional and national experts, activists and policy makers about climate change, food policy, land use, salmon restoration, forest management and all the other things that matter in our environment.

Coming Soon

Can carbon capture and sequestration reduce the carbon emissions of coal-fired power plants?
The health and safety concerns from fracking the Eagle Ford Shale Play in Texas.
 

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Episode Archive

Locus Focus on 12/07/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 12/07/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am

Nuclear Power - Carbon-free Energy for the Future or Still Just a Bad Idea?

A couple months ago, Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein leaped at the opportunity to interview Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog creator and innovative futurist. But Stewart has changed his views on some key things since the heady days of the late 1960s and early 70s, when his ideas and projects inspired a huge counter-cultural movement. His primary concern now is curbing climate change and he believes that to achieve the goal of drastically reducing our carbon emissions we must embrace technologies that he (and most of the environmental movement) once eschewed - like nuclear power.

Locus Focus on 11/30/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 11/30/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How Tar Sands extraction is Northern Alberta is changing the face of a continent

Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent

Locus Focus on 11/23/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 11/23/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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What is cap-and-trade really about?

Cap-and-trade systems are being touted across the country as the most likely way to reduce carbon emissions and they have been in practice in Europe for several years. But cap-and-trade is controversial in the eyes of some envrironmentalists—who see carbon trading as a form of 21st century indulgences—as well as industrial polluters who believe cap-and-trade creates unwanted government regulation. Eric de Place with the Sightline Institute believes that if we create the right kind of cap-and-trade system, we can not only get off the fossil-fuels roller coaster, but speed the transition to a clean energy economy that puts the interest of people before interests of polluters.

Locus Focus on 11/16/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 11/16/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am

What is Plan B 4.0?

Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, has come out with a new book PLAN B 4.0: MOBILIZING TO SAVE CIVILIZATION. This plan for how we can (and must) cut global emissions by 80% by the year 2020, suggests existing technologies and know-how that will accomplish what political and industrial leaders around the world seem to find so daunting.

Locus Focus on 11/09/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 11/09/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Sustainable agriculture that's beyond organic and very local

FARMING BEYOND THE BARCODE

Portland area farmers Clare Carver (Big Table Farm in Gaston) and Jill Kuehler (Zenger Farm in SE Portland) return to Locus Focus for a chat with Joel Salatin, farmer, food choice advocate and dream-doer, who runs Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. We'll discuss the sustainable agricultural methods they practice, based on polyculture and the interweaving roles of farm animals and crops.

Locus Focus on 11/02/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 11/02/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How can green chemistry revolutionize the materials we make, how they're used, and the benefits to o

Scientists now say there is substantial evidence that environmental conditions and environmental pollutants—among them synthetic chemicals used in consumer products—have a profound effect on human health. On this program Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with Portland environmental journalist (and neighbor) Liz Grossman, author of a new book, Chasing Molecules, about the potential for green chemistry to revolutionize the materials we make, how they're used, and the benefits to our health and the environment.

Locus Focus on 10/26/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 10/26/2009 - 10:00am - 11:00am
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A closer look at Portland's Urban Growth Boundary

PORTLAND'S URBAN GROWTH BOUNDARY: THIRTY YEARS LATER

In the late 1970s, an imaginary line was drawn around the Portland area. Inside the line, urban development could flourish. Outside that line the farms and forestland that characterize western Oregon would remain intact. This line, called the urban growth boundary, has saved much of the natural landscape that surrounds the city. But in the thirty years since the UGB was first drawn, it has expanded more than once. Now a lot of people in the region are saying it doesn't need to grow anymore.
 

Locus Focus on 10/19/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 10/19/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Eating locally has become a national movement. But how can we eat locally produced food if our nearb

Eating locally has become a national movement. But how can we eat locally produced food if our nearby family farms are plowed under for subdivisions? Host Barbara Bernstein speaks with Kendra Kimbiraskas, co-president of Friends of Family Farmers, about how her organization is working to protect family farms and sustainable agriculture in Oregon, so you can continue to enjoy locally-grown food.

 

Locus Focus on 10/05/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 10/05/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Living beyond the barcode: backyard food production and preservation

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein continues our journey into the politics of food. This week we explore the original concept of economics, which in Ancient Greece meant "rules of the household." Harriet Fasenfest, writer, cook, gardener, food preserver and backyard economist talks about the art, economics and politics of householding and food preservation.

 

 

 

Locus Focus on 09/28/09

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 09/28/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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What's happening with the federal climate bill?

The pressure is on for the United States to emerge from the dark ages of the Bush years and finally pass meaningful legislation to address the coming climate change crisis. So what is happening with the federal Climate Bill and will it have the teeth it needs. We'll find out from our guest, Liz Perera, who is the Washington Representative for Climate Policy with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

 

LIZ PERERA

Audio

Creating a Sustainable Future One Solar Panel at a Time

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 09/14/2009

 

We can create a sustainable future one solar panel array at a time. Seattle solar designers/community activists Jeremy Smithson and Pam Burton talk with host Barbara Bernstein about the work they are doing on the individual, neighborhood and regional level to make solar energy, plug-in electric cars and other sustainable practices accessible and affordable for everyone.

 

Jeremy Smithson started Puget Sound Solar in 2001 with 30 years of construction contracting experience, and a desire to turn Seattle on to solar energy.  What began out as a vague notion has gelled into a firm commitment to establish solar energy as a viable and permanent consumer choice.  Along the way, Jeremy has become a NABCEP Certified Solar Thermal and Solar PV Installer, a Washington State certified Electrical Administrator, and a popular lecturer and teacher.  What was initially a solo act is now part of a team effort, but his job description still includes providing vision and guidance to the company.

 

 

 

Pamela Burton was Director of the Pacifica Radio Archives before moving to Seattle in 1997, and remained in the non-profit world as the first Executive Director of Seattle Tilth until mid-2004.  As the volume of phone calls to Puget Sound Solar increased, she pitched in to help and became the ‘front office’, taking messages at first, and learning solar fundamentals.  Now she spends her day talking to prospective and current customers, utility people, suppliers, contractors, architects, and the like, dispensing information and advice, in addition to handling scheduling and customer paperwork.  She has served as President of Solar Washington for the last four years, developing the annual Solar Tour, helping to educate the public, and working to effect public policy.

 

Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 08/04/2009

 On Wednesday Morning Talk Radio, Marianne Barisonek hosts, with guests Lisa Weasel, author of the book Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food and Rick North of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Reese Erlich on current events in Iran

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 07/28/2009

 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

The post-election political struggle in Iran is no longer front page news, but that doesn't mean that it has ceased to be important. Journalist Reese Erlich was in Iran for the elections, He’s now back in the states, closely monitoring events in Iran as they continue to unfold.. He joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to talk about the political movement that burst forth during and after the Iranian elections in June.

Reese Erlich reports regularly for National Public Radio, Marketplace Radio, Latino USA, Radio Deutche Welle, Australian Broadcasting Corp. Radio, and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio and also writes for San Francisco ChronicleSt. Petersburg Times, and Christian Science Monitor.

He has been a media critic for San Francisco's KQED-FM (NPR affiliate) since 1988.

Reese will be speaking about Iran at Portland State University on Friday, July 31 at an event that begins at 6 PM

Next week Locus Focus goes on vacation for five weeks. We re-emerge at a new day and time on Monday, September 14 at 10:15 AM, still bringing you in-depth interviews and conversation about critical environmental issues.

 

Portland's Green Infrastructure

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 07/21/2009

  Why preserving and building new green infrastructure is so important in making our city sustainable.

Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

 What is Green Infrastructure? According to Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services it's: "interconnected natural systems and/ or engineered systems that use plants and soil to slow, filter, and infiltrate runoff close to its source in ways that strengthen and mimic natural functions and processes."

Today on Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with four key advocates for making Portland's green infrastructure a key part of the city's future planning. Mike Houck with the Urban Greenspaces Institute, Bob Sallinger with Audubon Society of Portland and Mary Wahl with the Bureau of Environmental Services get pose questions to Portland Mayor Sam Adams about the importance of emphasizing green infrastructure as the way of the city's future. You can call in with your own questions as well.

 Mike Houck, a native Portlander, has been a leader at the local, regional, national and international levels in urban park and greenspace issues since his founding the Urban Naturalist Program at theAudubon Society of Portland in 1980. Since that time he has worked on urban parks, trails, greenspaces and natural resources in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. He speaks locally, nationally and internationally on issues related to urban natural resources and sustainable development. He helped found the Coalition for a Livable Future in 1994 to better integrate social and environmental issues into the region's growth management planning process. The CLF consists of over 70 nonprofit organizations, individuals and businesses from the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region working to build an equitable and sustainable metropolitan region. Mike directs the Urban Greenspaces Institute out of the Center for Spatial Analysis and Research at Portland State University's Geography Department where he is an adjunct instructor. Mike serves on the national steering committee of the Ecological Cities Project of Amherst, MA and on several local and regional urban watershed, park and greenspace advisory committees in the Portland metropolitan region. He is co-editor of the book, Wild in the City, a Guide to Portland's Natural Areas, and produced Wild on the Willamette, Exploring the Lower Willamette RiverMike has been recognized for his contributions to urban greenspace issues at the local, national, and international arenas.

Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director, has worked for Audubon since 1992 and previously served as the Society’s Wildlife Care Center Director and Urban Conservation Director. His current responsibilities include managing the Audubon Statewide Important Bird Area in Oregon, recovery of imperiled species, and promoting wildlife conservation in the Portland Metropolitan Region. He has a particular interest in anthropogenic impacts on wildlife and promoting wildlife stewardship in urban ecosystems. His work in this area is informed by his experience overseeing the rehabilitation of more than 40,000 injured wild animals and responding to more than 200,000 wildlife related phone calls. In 2001, Bob developed Audubon’s “Living with urban Wildlife” program to proactively promote wildlife stewardship on the urban landscape. A highlight of Bob’s career with Audubon has been his work managing Audubon’s Peregrine Project which has combined educational outreach, management, captive rearing and release, and citizen science to promote peregrine falcon recover in the Portland Metropolitan Region. Today Portland area peregrine eyries comprise 5% of the known peregrine nesting population in Oregon and the Audubon Program has been recognized with awards for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon Chapter of the Wildlife Society. Bob’s passion for conservation was developed early exploring the woods of Massachusetts and later on solo hikes from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail and from Canada to New Mexico on the Continental Divide. Bob has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for a Livable Future and the East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife Elisabeth Neely, two children, a dog and a couple of chickens.

Mary Wahl is the Watershed Services Group Manager for the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, which includes watershed planning and implementation, regulatory/policy, sustainable stormwater management, and the Endangered Species Act program. Previously, Maryspent 14 years at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, primarily as Administrator of the Waste Management and Cleanup Division. She is an avid kayaker and hiker. Her "leftover" time goes to a local effort on the southern Oregon coast, the "Conservation and Rural Working Landscapes Initiative," whose goal is to marry conservation of natural resources with local ranching and timber operations.Mary lives in Portland. 

 

 

   Sam Adams has been the mayor of Portland since 2009.

 

Portland Central American Solidarity Committee

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 07/14/2009

 This morning on Guest Host Trillium Shannon speaks with members of the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC), about the history of solidarity work, current events and trends in Latin America, and how local communities are responding.  Live, in the studio with Shannon are Shiruko Hashimoto, Megan Hise, and Maria Damaris.

Kim Klein on grassroots, non-profit fundraising

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 07/07/2009

 The economic meltdown of the past year has created exceptional challenges for the non-profit sector of our society. Kim Klein, legendary grassroots non-profit fundraising consultant, joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to discuss why these hard times are providing not only difficulties but also opportunities for grassroots social change organizations. We'll talk with Kim about about war, locusts, famine and community organizing and find out how grassroots activists can take advantage of some unique opportunities hidden in the folds of this economic downturn. Why is the non-profit sector is gaining in strength even as the financial system seems to be imploding and how would instituting a truly progressive income tax benefit us all?

 

Listen to the keynote address that Kim Klein gave in Portland in April 2009 at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters' annual conference: 

     http://www.nfcb.org/conference/post_communityradioconference.jsp

Kim Klein is internationally known as a fundraising trainer and consultant. She is a member of the Building Movement Project and leads workshops on tax policy and the importance of the "commons" for them as well as being a regular contributor to their website.  She is the Chardon Press Series Editor at Jossey-Bass Publishers, which publishes and distributes materials that help to build a stronger nonprofit sector, and the founder of the bimonthly Grassroots Fundraising Journal. She is also the author of Fundraising for Social Change (now in its fifth edition, 2006), Fundraising for the Long Haul (2000), which explores the particular challenges of older grassroots organizations, and Ask and You Shall Receive: A Fundraising Training Program for Religious Organizations or Projects, Raise More Money (2001) which she edited with her partner, Stephanie Roth, and Fundraising in Times of Crisis (2004). Widely in demand as a speaker, Kim Klein has provided training and consultation in all 50 states and in 21 countries.

For more information about Kim's organization Klein & Roth:  http://www.kleinandroth.com/

 

Gavin Schmidt and Climate Change - Picturing The Science

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 06/30/2009

 Understanding the ramifications of climate change through images

 

 

   Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein interviews NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, co-author and editor of an unprecedented union of scientific analysis and photography illustrating the effects of climate change on the global ecosystem. Gavin Schmidt talks about how his new book, "Climate Change - Picturing the Science,"  illustrates the ramifications of shifting climate for human society, by including photographic spreads (including a photo essay by Oregon photographer Gary Braasch) and satellite imagery that show us retreating glaciers, sinking villages in Alaska's tundra, and drying lakes, as well as text following adventurous scientists from the ice caps at the poles to the coral reefs of the tropics.  

Gavin Schmidt is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies as well as the co-founder of RealClimate.org, where he is a contributing editor.

 

Lents Park Baseball Stadium *derailed* by Community Activists!!!

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 06/23/2009

 A proposed baseball stadium in Lents has been derailed. How did this happen and why is it good for Lents? 
 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein 

     It looks like the contentious baseball stadium in Lents Parkis a not going to be built after all. But there’s still plenty to chew on in the aftermath of its demise. In this segment we talk about why building a stadium in Lents' only park was opposed by so many neighborhood people as well as social justice and environmental activists across the city, why the campaign to stop the stadium was a success and how do we prevent a bad proposal like this in the future. Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by Lents Stadium Issue Organizers - Kathleen Juergens de Ponce and Nick Christensen - and Dianne Riley with the Coalition for a Livable Future.

 

 

Portland's Sunday Parkways

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 06/16/2009

 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

 

How Sunday Parkways reduce carbon emissions, build community, and raise Portland's Happiness Quotient.

This week Linda Ginenthal with Transportation Options joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to talk about Sunday Parkways. Modeled after Bogotá, Colombia’s Ciclovias, held every Sunday on 70 miles of streets, Portland's first Sunday Parkways was last summer, drawing 15,000 Portland area residents to bike and walk through neighborhoods in North Portland. Sunday Parkways is about connecting neighborhoods and people: walkers, runners, bikers, seniors, adults, and children enjoying neighborhood streets filled with surprises, performers, physical activities, and food – all in a car-free environment.

 

Mayor Sam Adams and Portland's new Climate Action Plan

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 06/09/2009

While Portland may be ahead of the curve in taking on the challenge of climate change, there's still a lot of work to be done.

Portland was one of the first American cities to take climate change seriously. In 2007, Portland was the only large metro area in the U.S. that actually reduced its carbon emissions below 1990 levels. But that doesn't mean we can just rest on our laurels. If this region is to succeed in radically reducing our carbon footprint, there’s a lot more work to be done. This morning Portland Mayor  Sam Adams joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to unveil Portland's new Climate Action Plan.

 

  • Title: Locus Focus 20090610
  • Length: 56:00 minutes (25.64 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 11kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

Comments

Global Warming

Barbara, I hope you might forward my comments to your guest. I was only able to listen to part of today's program but I am very interested. I want to raise my concerns about two prevailing frames that arise on your show and throughout serious discussion of climate change that I believe do great damage to the efforts to raise the awareness of the public and help them understand the urgency needed when addressing this issue.
First is the frame that global warming is happening slowly and will continue to do so. I do not believe the facts support such an assertion and not only does no one know that warming will not suddenly serge forward it seems to be doing exactly that. A report out last week raised the projected temperature for the planet by the end of the century to 9F from 4F degrees. That means that we are going to hit 4F by---2040? Until recently no one imagined the arctic ice cap could melt in anything like our lifetimes but in fact it will and it may do so as soon as 2013! The problem with the frames that give people the impression that GW is a slow process is that it provides fauls comfort, "Oh, technology will fix it before it happens," or "It is not my problem." Neither one is the case but too many people still think that way. So please start using a different frame from "by the end of the century," or “future generations." Instead say "within our life times," and stress the urgency. After all it is much more accurate to say catastrophic climate change is happening right now.

The second frame is that one cannot attribute any given weather event to global warming. That is only partly true. In fact one might say that you cannot not attribute any given weather event to climate change such is the post-industrial influence on the pre-industrial trajectory of the climate---we have departed the Holocene and are in the Antropocene some scientist tell us. It is like a basketball launched toward a basket that gets tipped by one of the players. Its trajectory is for ever changed. I think it is more accurate to say that the weather everywhere and everyday has been influence to some degree by GW. This is important because the frame that one cannot tell if an event is caused by climate change is asking them not to believe there own "eyes," experiences, or impressions which are often very astute. For instance in Oklahoma where I grew up we used to have thunderstorms in April and the 100F days did not come until late July. This year they had wild fires near Oklahoma City in April and the temperatures have been in the hundreds throughout much of this June---that has increasingly become the trend and is consistent with climate change projections. Now Oklahomans should by all rights believe that what they are experiencing is in fact global warming. It may be noted that Inhofe is a Senator from Oklahoma and one of the most radical global warming deniers and obstructionist in government.
I have been keeping up with this issue for a long time now and am alarmed at the rapidity that things are taking place. I truly believe we are probably in for crop failures, water shortages, and mass migrations here in North America, in this country, within our lifetimes and whereas I think there is a fine line to be drawn to not panic or send people into despair I think scientist tend to be much too measured in their statements. It is as though there is smoke billowing out of the projection room and the scientists don’t want be caught dead yelling fire in a crowded theater because there is no "proof" that there is in fact a fire.
Scientist have long dismissed the near term risk of a methane/co2 release from the arctic or the ocean meanwhile there is growing indications that that is exactly what is happening. As a NASA scientist you should know that a huge methane release was detected on Mars a few years ago and that is within a much more static system than ours----that should give us pause!
The public needs to be prepared in case there is a sudden spike in methane from the Arctic so I hope in the future Barbara you will direct your discussions of climate change toward the rapidity of changes already taking place and the potential danger of being too complacent and smug about what we know and what we think we do or do not know. Thank you.

Global Warming

I recently interviewed Phil Mote who has replaced climate change denier George Taylor as Oregon's State Climatologist. Like any careful scientist Mote does not feel comfortable attributing specific weather events to climate change. But he gave me a analogy that I like: It's like playing Russian Roulette and adding a second bullet to the chamber of the revolver. If you blow your head off it doesn't really matter whether it was the original bullet or added bullet that did you in.

Solar Energy

I echo Bruce's concerns and add commentary based on  Mon - 14 - Sep show.

While I support solar energy, I warn against pie-in-the-sky proposals that make it sound like we can find new sources to keep living our wasteful lives. The scale of the problem is lost when we pretend that putting solar panels on 100 roofs signifies real change.

There is some hope to be found in using solar power efficiently. This does NOT include powering electric resistance heaters with photovoltaics. It does mean passive solar heating, solar hot water, and solar clothes driers (AKA clotheslines).

When you have used conservation and innovation to convert the wasteful electric grid into a sustainable system, then we can begin the conversation about supplimenting the system for our transportation problems. Until then, the only real sustainable alternatives to petroleum are wind, human, and animal powered vehicles. Coal and nuclear, the primary sources of new electricity, are polluting uses of nonrenewable resources.

Walk, ride a bicycle, sail (without motor), and use horse and ox cart, if you are truly concerned about the serious threat of climate change. Park your car forever. We cannot afford cars any longer.

- Vernon Huffman

   Corvallis, OR

today's show & "socialism"

i think now is a good time to talk more about what socialism actually is - common ownership of the means of production - and what is is not - redistributing wealth. you are right to continue pointing out that what obama is talking about is a progressive tax structure, not socialism.

the progressive tax idea actually comes from adam smith himself, "It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion." [from book 5, ch.2 on taxes]

Intro Music

The intro music to Locus Focus is a song by Hugh Masakela called "Change." It's on his album "Time," which came out a few years ago. I plan on playing the song each week until Robert Mugabe relinquishes power in Zimbabwe.

brain gender

Did you see the piece in the NY Times re schizophrenia and autism having possible roots in parental dna - that is mother mix:father's mix? That is female characteristics manifesting as schizophrenia from mother dna and autistic characteristics from father's?

 

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